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Author Topic: Should these events be adults only?  (Read 7899 times)

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bah12

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Re: Should these events be adults only?
« Reply #15 on: June 23, 2014, 06:27:15 PM »
I would say that the majority of events should be adult participants only.

One annual event should be family friendly, like a picnic or a game day.

I can agree with this.  I also think that the events should mirror whether or not it's a child-free or child-friendly event.  For example, if there were four weekend picnics organized throughout the year, but only one of them allowed children, that wouldn't make sense.  But, it would make sense to have three weeknight happy hours/dinners and an annual picnic where the happy hours are child-free and the picnic is child-friendly.

I actually think this is a good balance. 

When organizing professional events as both social and networking opportunities, I really think that the organizer needs to take the demographics of the group into account.  If you have a bunch of young college students, or young professionals, then it might make sense to stick to after work/weeknight activities and happy hours.  But if you have a group of working parent/professionals, who have to pick kids up from school/day care etc, then it doesn't make a lot of sense to consistently organize activities that interfere with their ability to meet family responsibilities.  And this gets tougher as the age and life gaps in the work force and colleges become more pronounced.

If the goal is to both garner participation and allow for networking opportunities, then events need to be inclusive of everyone that is invited to the extent practical. This isn't easy when you are dealing with people with kids and also a large group without....so balancing the events where some are child friendly and some are child free is probably the best way to go.

Winterlight

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Re: Should these events be adults only?
« Reply #16 on: June 23, 2014, 07:13:59 PM »
What jumps out at me is the presumption that  it's OK to spend money that comes from grad students' fees (assuming this based on my experience with grad student associations) to unfairly subsidize extra people for some students but not for others.  If the board is willing to pay for student X, plus SO, plus one or more children to do an activity, then why shouldn't student Y be allowed to bring along exactly the same number of people and have their expenses paid also? 

I agree. Setting a policy now is going to save headaches in the future. One adult guest only, and they have to be old enough to do the activity. So, no wine tastings with 18yos.

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Promise

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Re: Should these events be adults only?
« Reply #17 on: June 23, 2014, 09:33:06 PM »

When I was in grad school, we had events as well. Because many had babies/toddlers, at least once a year the event was a picnic or something family friendly. I think it's important to allow these family events because you will be socializing with other families. It brings a commonality to the event that won't happen otherwise for those with children. We also had events where you had to bring a picture ID in order to attend because tickets were given out for drinks. Each person was allowed X number of tickets for the night or could pay for drinks beyond their number of tickets. Our events were for the grad students only unless it was a potlock or cheaper event. Perhaps you could have a mixture of events - some for families, some for a plus 1, and some for the students only. Just be clear about it when advertised.

Library Dragon

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Re: Should these events be adults only?
« Reply #18 on: June 23, 2014, 10:11:39 PM »
May I make one suggestion. If you have grad students with children, but no close family/friends, it might  be helpful if you can create a list of trained babysitters.

One summer in grad school DS2 and I went to live on campus 125 miles from home. DS2 attended the YMCA day camp, so classes were covered.  Evenings were a problem as I knew no one outside of grad school.  DS2 could have been sleeping peacefully. I could have had a chat and drink with other students if I had had a sitter. 

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LifeOnPluto

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Re: Should these events be adults only?
« Reply #19 on: June 23, 2014, 10:12:37 PM »
I'd expect the majority (if not all) of grad school networking events (no matter how fun and casual) to be adults only.

That said, I agree with PPs who suggest having one or two family-friendly events per year (like a picnic) and seeing how they go.

sammycat

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Re: Should these events be adults only?
« Reply #20 on: June 24, 2014, 04:02:20 AM »
I'd expect the majority (if not all) of grad school networking events (no matter how fun and casual) to be adults only.

That said, I agree with PPs who suggest having one or two family-friendly events per year (like a picnic) and seeing how they go.

I agree.

I also agree with pp who say a policy should be put in place sooner rather than later, before something unfortunate happens and brings it all to a head.

MindsEye

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Re: Should these events be adults only?
« Reply #21 on: June 24, 2014, 07:47:47 AM »
Hmm... I was involved (though not as deeply as the OP is!) in my graduate school's equivalent of the grad student activity committee, and I can tell you that one of the stipulations in the charter was that student fees were to be used only on students.  So if we organized a wine tasting trip, the expenses for the grad students were covered, but all non-student attendees (spouses, SOs, etc) had to pay their own way.  That eliminated all of the "asking for extra tickets" stuff... because there were no extra tickets.

Honestly, I cannot remember any activities that were organized that were not "adult only".   And these ranged from the implicit "adult only" (e.g. bike tours - where kids probably wouldn't be able to keep up, conferences/research presentations - where kids would likely be bored out of their mind and kid-related disruptions would not be welcome) to explicit "adult only" (e.g. wine tastings, happy hours)

Actually, I think that at my grad school there was a separate grad student family association that was geared toward grad students with kids....

Aquamarine

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Re: Should these events be adults only?
« Reply #22 on: June 24, 2014, 07:54:50 AM »
Remember OP that not only will you need to be very specific on your invitations that an event is child free but also be prepared to turn children away at the door if needed.  Hopefully this won't be an issue for you but sometimes there is a parent with the attitude of "where I go my child goes" who will show up anyway with their kid(s).  Do not let these people in to sabotage your event!
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lowspark

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Re: Should these events be adults only?
« Reply #23 on: June 24, 2014, 08:05:59 AM »
I agree with a lot of what's already been said. The majority of the events should be adults only, and that should be made clear in the original invitation/announcement of the event, "adults only". If there are enough students who have children and would like events to include them, then one or two a year should be sufficient. And again, make it clear from the beginning, "this is a family event, children welcome." Doing it on a case by case basis where you make a decision each time after someone asks, is definitely asking for trouble.

What is the percentage of students who have kids and who want the kids included? Is it 10%? 50%? To me that makes a difference. 10% is probably not enough to warrant a whole lot of kid-friendly events. 50% or more suggests that there may be a demand that needs to be met. But remember, it's not just how many have kids, it's how many have kids and would like events that include them.

I also agree that it might be best to get away from paying for guests. Allowing students to bring a guest is fine, but either making the guests pay their own way or only subsidizing a portion of the cost might be better.
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bopper

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Re: Should these events be adults only?
« Reply #24 on: June 24, 2014, 08:20:59 AM »
I agree with others...what are your demographics? If half of your population has little kids, then having night time activities where you have to get a babysitter may cause half of your population to not attend.


blarg314

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Re: Should these events be adults only?
« Reply #25 on: June 24, 2014, 06:53:28 PM »
Hmm... I was involved (though not as deeply as the OP is!) in my graduate school's equivalent of the grad student activity committee, and I can tell you that one of the stipulations in the charter was that student fees were to be used only on students.  So if we organized a wine tasting trip, the expenses for the grad students were covered, but all non-student attendees (spouses, SOs, etc) had to pay their own way.  That eliminated all of the "asking for extra tickets" stuff... because there were no extra tickets.

That makes a lot of sense.

I think that networking events and social events should be treated differently. If the event is mainly about networking between grad students, it should be *for* grad students, and having a +1 doesn't make much sense. For one thing, it's rude to talk shop in front of non-related participants (like non student spouses), so the +1s make it more of a social mixer.  And have some of the networking events during the usual working day,  when the kids are in daycare.

If it's more of a social event, I think you should have a mix. Making it mostly adult only events is going to push grad students with children away - a grad student with kids is not necessarily going to be able to afford a babysitter, and they're generally a long way from family who could help out. So have some pub nights or wine tastings that are adult only, and some picnics that are family friendly, and some events that are split, like an outdoor activity, and the option of going to the pub in the evening. And maybe once a year, have a family focussed event catering to families with small kids specifically.

sammycat

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Re: Should these events be adults only?
« Reply #26 on: June 24, 2014, 08:18:29 PM »
Hmm... I was involved (though not as deeply as the OP is!) in my graduate school's equivalent of the grad student activity committee, and I can tell you that one of the stipulations in the charter was that student fees were to be used only on students.  So if we organized a wine tasting trip, the expenses for the grad students were covered, but all non-student attendees (spouses, SOs, etc) had to pay their own way.  That eliminated all of the "asking for extra tickets" stuff... because there were no extra tickets.

Yes, I was wondering about this. I don't think any of the organisations I've been involved with have provided a free ticket for non members. I wouldn't be very happy if my fees or fundraising money was going towards random non members. I wouldn't be surprised if some of the +1s were only attending because it was free, whether they were particularly interested in the event or not. That money could be better spent on resources for the actual members.

My DH and sons are part of a nationwide organisation.  The end of year party at an outside location always covers the members' entry, but non members like myself have to pay our own way in, which I think is fair enough (it's usually only a few dollars, so not terribly expensive).

AnnaJ

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Re: Should these events be adults only?
« Reply #27 on: June 24, 2014, 08:22:05 PM »
Hmm... I was involved (though not as deeply as the OP is!) in my graduate school's equivalent of the grad student activity committee, and I can tell you that one of the stipulations in the charter was that student fees were to be used only on students.  So if we organized a wine tasting trip, the expenses for the grad students were covered, but all non-student attendees (spouses, SOs, etc) had to pay their own way.  That eliminated all of the "asking for extra tickets" stuff... because there were no extra tickets.

That makes a lot of sense.

I think that networking events and social events should be treated differently. If the event is mainly about networking between grad students, it should be *for* grad students, and having a +1 doesn't make much sense. For one thing, it's rude to talk shop in front of non-related participants (like non student spouses), so the +1s make it more of a social mixer.  And have some of the networking events during the usual working day,  when the kids are in daycare.

If it's more of a social event, I think you should have a mix. Making it mostly adult only events is going to push grad students with children away - a grad student with kids is not necessarily going to be able to afford a babysitter, and they're generally a long way from family who could help out. So have some pub nights or wine tastings that are adult only, and some picnics that are family friendly, and some events that are split, like an outdoor activity, and the option of going to the pub in the evening. And maybe once a year, have a family focussed event catering to families with small kids specifically.

I think there are two different issue here, money and different types of events.  I'm also surprised that the board is able to use grad student funds for anyone who is not a grad student, but I suppose it depends how the events are organized.  When I was an officer in our grad student organization we did fund some social events, things like providing food at a local pub or coffee house, but most of our money went to fund grad student in their research or going to conferences; we also had a very nice study area/lab/rest area for grad students, and spent a lot of money on supplies like paper, ink, and various computer programs.

Having a lot of different types of events that are organized by various grad students and publicized by the organization, great.  Paying for non students to attend these events beyond a token "we'll provide soda/paper plates/chips" at a picnic, not something I'd agree with as a student paying those fees.

MurPl1

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Re: Should these events be adults only?
« Reply #28 on: June 24, 2014, 08:39:16 PM »
What jumps out at me is the presumption that  it's OK to spend money that comes from grad students' fees (assuming this based on my experience with grad student associations) to unfairly subsidize extra people for some students but not for others.  If the board is willing to pay for student X, plus SO, plus one or more children to do an activity, then why shouldn't student Y be allowed to bring along exactly the same number of people and have their expenses paid also? 


This.  My concern was that as someone without children to bring along, I'm unfairly subsidizing someone else' family planning choices.

GSNW

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Re: Should these events be adults only?
« Reply #29 on: June 24, 2014, 09:06:13 PM »
I would say that the majority of events should be adult participants only.

One annual event should be family friendly, like a picnic or a game day.

This sums up my stance.  Children change the dynamics of an event.  I belong to a professional association for the content area in which I teach, and it would never occur to me that someone might bring a child to our social events - unless said event was specifically billed as a "family" something.